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City Creek awarded for environmentally friendly design

By Keith McCord | Posted - Feb. 16, 2011 at 11:59 p.m.



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SALT LAKE CITY -- The massive City Creek Center project in downtown Salt Lake will open to the public in just more than a year, but the project is already receiving accolades for it's environmentally sensitive design.

Whether it's in Salt Lake City or in other parts of the world, construction projects aren't just thrown up any more. Design and cost is one thing, but being environmentally sensitive is just as important -- but it's not easy.

"It takes an extreme amount of coordination between the owner, the developer, the architect, the contractor," said Bill Williams, director of architecture and engineering for the City Creek project

The commitment to be LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design)-certified has to be made even before the project begins. The planners of City Creek did that, and are now being awarded by the Green Building Certification Institute.

The environmental planning was in place as far back as 2007, with the implosion of the Key Bank building.

When the dust settled, the concrete was reused in other areas of the state. The steel was collected, reshaped and reformed, and is now part of the foundations of the new buildings at City Creek.

"We did implode buildings and took things down, but we recycled 70 percent of that waste," Williams said.

On the inside of the buildings you'll find low-flow faucets, low-wattage light fixtures, and woods that do not come from endangered forests or trees.

Even the location of City Creek gets LEED certification points because it makes downtown living extremely convenient.

"[As] an institution we want to do things as being wise stewards," Williams said. "So that would indicate that you need to do things that for generations to come they'll know what we enjoy today."

City Creek has received LEED Silver and Gold certifications on several of the buildings so far. When the project is completed, additional recognitions will most likely be awarded.

E-mail: kmccord@ksl.com

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Keith McCord

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